Common bile duct ligation in the rat: A model of intrapulmonary vasodilatation and hepatopulmonary syndrome

Michael B. Fallon, Gary A. Abrams, John W. McGrath, Zihying Hou, Bao Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) causes impaired oxygenation due to intrapulmonary vasodilatation in patients with cirrhosis. Chronic common bile duct ligation (CBDL) in the rat results in gas-exchange abnormalities similar to HPS, but intrapulmonary vasodilatation has not been evaluated. We assess intrapulmonary vasodilatation, measured in vivo, after CBDL. Sham, 2- and 5- wk CBDL, and 3-wk partial portal vein ligated (PVL) rats had hepatic and lung injury, portal pressure, and arterial blood gases assessed. The pulmonary microcirculation was evaluated by injecting microspheres (size range 5.5-10 μm) intravenously and measuring the size and number of microspheres bypassing the lungs in arterial blood. CBDL animals developed progressive hepatic injury and portal hypertension accompanied by gas-exchange abnormalities and intrapulmonary vasodilatation. PVL animals, with a similar degree of portal hypertension, did not develop intrapulmonary vasodilatation or abnormal gas exchange. No lung injury was observed. CBDL, but not PVL, causes progressive intrapulmonary vasodilatation, which accompanies worsening arterial gas exchange. These findings validate CBDL as a model to study HPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G779-G784
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 35-4
StatePublished - Apr 1997


  • cirrhosis
  • gas exchange
  • microcirculation
  • microspheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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